I went to two really great gigs this weekend, the New Town Kings at the London Camden Barfly and Random Hand at the London Hackney Trashbar. Each had really good support bands too. The Barfly is in an upstairs room over a pub and the Trashbar in three adjoined cellars below an organic food store. The Barfly is a well established venue, whilst the Trashbar only opened in March. It took me six trains to get to and from home to the Barfly and four trains and two busses to get to the Trashbar and back; only London can manage to have a traffic jam for busses to get caught up in at midnight! The Barfly sort of has some sort of air conditioning so it was only hot, the Trashbar has zero anything and a really low ceiling, so it was about 1000 degrees in it; in fact the ceiling is so low that two of the bands’ singers had to stand on the floor in front of the little stage, as they were too tall to stand upright on it. Well anyway, both gigs were great and I was suitably knackered at the end of them. I felt sick on the way back from the NTK one on the Tube (too dehydrated) and (a first for me) felt sick on the way to the Random Hand one, (before realising I’d hardly eaten or drunk anything all day so was again dehydrated and probably suffering some sort of energy crisis as well). Talking of gigs and music (and it makes a change to actually be able to draw a sensible link between the crap I’ve written in this paragraph and that in the next)….
2003 – Certificate: PG – USA
Rating Details: Mild language and sex references
I can’t decide if I want to really really like this movie or really really (which makes it a lot more realistic), the kids in it are generally pretty cool and okay it’s quite funny in places too. Against it are the facts that the music featured in it is shit, (well, mostly anyway, except the Clash and Ramones songs, and I guess Immigrant Song is okay too if you really have to like that sort of thing), the school is also shit and has zero child protection in place, the end is way too “Hollywood” and Jack Black’s character is at times just a little bit too creepy. I really want to like Jack Black, simply because he doesn’t look like George Clooney or Johnny Depp, but he makes it so, so difficult in his films at times. (It’s the eyebrows I think, he moves then about way too much for me; they certainly take me outside my comfort zone.) In the end I’ve decided it’s an okay movie.
Recommended for people who like the sort of rock music that punk should really have finished off when it had the chance; you will either like hearing it, or get annoyed at hearing your favourite songs mangled by a load of kids and associated grown-ups; a good thing too if you take it that seriously.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? It has to be Jack Black’s “touch the kids” line. It’s so way out of the park compared with the rest of the very safe script that you end up thinking, “wtf, did he really just say that”? The delayed reaction of all the parents present in the scene (who are obviously busy thinking over what he’d just said too) makes it the best badass line in the film.
School of Rock at IMDB (7.1)
It’s a bona fide classic. It’s got Johnny Depp in it (scream, swoon, faint, etc) in his very first film role. There are 570 reviews of it in the Internet Movie Database. It introduced us to Fred Krueger, a movie icon who, before he started churning out clever one-liners in later Nightmare films, was a genuinely scary bad-man. Instantly recognisable in his red and green sweater and battered hat, he’s graced countless Halloween and fancy-dress parties ever since. This was the very first DVD I ever bought and probably the first one I ever watched. I bought it, along with a few others and a DVD player, with £400 worth of Selfridges vouchers I’d won in some competition or other. It saved me from the hell of VHS tapes and introduced me to the beauty of DVD. If Hell really exists, it will include being forced to watch all your favourite movies, over and over again, on a small and tinny TV that’s too far away from where you’re sitting, via worn out VHS tapes; that’s true horror. I occasionally watch something on video these days and it’s a eye-watering and physically unpleasant experience. This was my first time watching Nightmare on Blu-ray. Reference quality it’s not, but doing the latter was not unlike meeting your first ever girlfriend or boyfriend again after many years and finding out just how much they’ve changed since you knew them, but then realising that they’re still really amazing and look great for their age. (I can’t actually remember who my first girlfriend was; by which I mean, of course, that there were many, many women, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one person.)
1984 – Certificate: 12 – USA
Rating Details: Strong sadistic horror and bloody violence
Gosh, I don’t think I can really make any sort of subjective comment on this movie, such is the pedestal I’ve put it on. It’s not one of the best films ever but it’s probably one of the ten most iconic ones. It’s still a scary movie; watching it still makes me jump, followed by the verbalisation of the experience as an expletive or two. Considering I know where all the scariest parts are, this is pretty good going. Yeah, it’s great!
Recommended for; actually, everyone should watch it, even people who hate horrors or 80s films. It’s one of those things everyone who’s ever expressed an interest in films should do.
No cats and no decapitations. There is however, what can best be described as a ‘liquefaction’ of someone.
Top badass moment? Fred Krueger IS the physical embodiment of badass.
A Nightmare on Elm Street at IMDB